(Brenner is an American Jewish person, marxist, civil rights and anti-war activist see bio here http://lennibrenner.eccmei.net/ )
This Dr Kastner [many sources Anglicise Kasztner's name] was a young man about my age, an ice-cold lawyer and a fanatical Zionist. He agreed to help keep the Jews from resisting deportation Â and even keep order in the collection camps - if I would close my eyes and let a few hundred or a few thousand young Jews emigrate illegally to Palestine. It was a good bargain. For keeping order in the camps, the price of 15,000 or 20,000 Jews Â in the end there may have been more - was not too high for me. Except perhaps for the first few sessions, Kastner never came to me fearful of the Gestapo strong man. We negotiated entirely as equals. People forget that. We were political opponents trying to arrive at a settlement, and we trusted each other perfectly. When he was with me, Kastner smoked cigarettes as though he were in a coffeehouse. While we talked he would smoke one aromatic cigarette after another, taking them from a silver case and lighting them with a little silver lighter. With his great polish and reserve he would have made an ideal Gestapo officer himself.
As a matter of fact, there was a very strong similarity between our attitudes in the SS and the viewpoint of these immensely idealistic Zionist leaders who were fighting what might be their last battle. As I told Kastner: "We, too, are idealists and we, too, had to sacrifice our own blood before we came to power."
I believe that Kastner would have sacrificed a thousand or a hundred thousand of his blood to achieve his political goal. He was not interested in old Jews or those who had become assimilated into Hungarian society. But he was incredibly persistent in trying to save biologically valuable Jewish blood - that is, human material that was capable of reproduction and hard work. "You can have the others" he would say, "but let me have this group here." And because Kastner rendered us a great service by helping keep the deportation camps peaceful, I would let his groups escape. After all, I was not concerned with small groups of a thousand or so Jews.
[end of quote from Eichmann]
.....Kasztner was also involved in the affair of Hannah Szenes which was described at the trial. Szenes was a brave young Zionist from Hungary, whom the British finally allowed, together with 31 others, to parachute into occupied Europe to organise Jewish rescue and resistance. She landed in Yugoslavia on 18 March, one day before the German invasion of Hungary; she smuggled herself back into Hungary in June and was promptly caught by Horthy's police. Peretz Goldstein and Joel Nussbecher-Palgi followed her in and they contacted Kasztner, who conned them both into giving themselves up to the Germans and Hungarians for the sake of the train. Both were sent to Auschwitz, although Nussbecher-Palgi managed to saw through some bars on his train and escape.  Szenes was shot by a Hungarian firing squad. Kasztner's admission in court that he had failed to notify the Swiss, who represented Britain's interests in Budapest, of the Hungarians' capture of a British officer and spy - "I think I had my reasons" - outraged the Israeli public, many of whom had read her poetry and knew of her bravery in the Hungarian prisons
On 21 June 1955 Judge Halevi found there had been no libel of Kasztner, apart from the fact that he had not been motivated by considerations of monetary gain. His collaboration had crucially aided the Nazis in murdering 450,000 Jews and, after the war, he further compounded his offence by going to the defence of Becher.>
The Labour government appealed, but lost. Kasztner was shot by someone. This was the appeal decision).
<On 17 January 1958 the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Kasztner-Gruenwald case.
The court ruled, 5 to 0, that Kasztner had perjured himself on behalf of Colonel Becher. It then concluded, 3 to 2, that what he did, during the war, could not be legitimately considered collaboration.The most forceful argument of the majority was put forward by Judge Shlomo Chesin:
He didn't warn Hungarian Jewry of the danger facing it because he didn't think it would be useful, and because he thought that any deeds resulting from information given them would damage more than help ...Kastner spoke in detail of the situation, saying, "The Hungarian Jew was a branch which long ago dried up on the tree." This vivid description coincides with the testimony of another witness about Hungarian Jews. "This was a big Jewish community in Hungary, without any ideological Jewish backbone."...The question is not whether a man is allowed to kill many in order to save a few, or vice-versa. The question is altogether in another sphere and should be defined as follows: a man is aware that a whole community is awaiting its doom. He is allowed to make efforts to save a few, although part of his efforts involve concealment of truth from the many; or should he disclose the truth to many though it is his best opinion that this way everybody will perish. I think the answer is clear. What good will the blood of the few bring if everyone is to perish?
Much of the Israeli public refused to accept the new verdict. Had Kasztner lived, the Labour government would have been in difficulty. Not only had he perjured himself for Becher, but, between the trial and the Supreme Court decision, Tamir had uncovered further evidence that Kasztner had also intervened in the case of SS Colonel Hermann Krumey. He had sent him, while he was awaiting trial at Nuremberg, an affidavit declaring: "Krumey performed his duties in a laudable spirit of good will, at a time when the life and death of many depended on him."
Created By: Orla Ni Chomhrai